Rifle rolls past Battle Mountain, 53-6
RIFLE ” Turnovers and big plays were the story Friday night at Rifle dominated a struggling Battle Mountain squad, 53-6.
In a matchup of two cellar dwelling 3A Slope teams, Rifle (2-6 overall, 2-4 league) came out energized on Homecoming night and stifled the Huskies offense. The Bears’ defense held Battle Mountain to just 162 yards of total offense while creating six turnovers (five interceptions and one fumble) and also scoring on a punt return.
After falling to Steamboat Springs 62-13 just one week ago, the winless Battle Mountain Huskies (0-8, 0-6) couldn’t do anything right against the Bears.
From the opening snap” which was delivered high and out of the reach of quarterback Parke Robbins and subsequently turned over to the Bears on their own 12-yard line ” to the last one, the Huskies struggled in every aspect of the game.
Rifle was more than happy to take advantage of the miscues.
Two plays after the opening fumble on the first play from the line of scrimmage, Tyrel Lenard rumbled untouched into the end zone for a touchdown.
Lenard ran for 140 yards, two TDs on 15 carries. Second-string QB Logan Powell added 48 yards and a TD on the ground and James Martinez had 30 yards on six carries.
If it wasn’t a bad enough beginning for the Huskies, what happened on their next play sure didn’t make them feel any better.
On the very next running play conducted by Battle Mountain, the officials blew a call.
The Huskies faked the handoff to the upback and pitched outside to their halfback. While the upback without the ball was stood up at the line of scrimmage, halfback Chris Libertini sprinted down the sideline with one man to beat for an easy touchdown of 75 yards.
Not so fast.
The referee thought the upback had the ball and blew the play dead when he was stood up, while Libertini was off to the races.
After the Huskies picked up their first first down of the contest, the Bears forced a punt and the Bears’ Joseph Burgess returned it 60 yards for the score, making it 12-0 Rifle.
From there it got ugly.
As the second quarter opened up, Lenard ripped off a 30-yard score which was quickly followed by Powell’s TD scamper off yet another interception thrown by Huskies’ QB Jake Engle who had three on the day.
Engle and Parke Robbins split time at quarterback. Combined, the duo was eight of 21 passing for 103 yards with five interceptions.
Rifle took a 32-0 lead into halftime but wasn’t finished adding to its rout until the end of the third quarter.
Perhaps the lone bright spots for the Huskies came from the last drive when Robbins hooked up with Dawa Sherpa for a 37-yard gain on the far sideline. A couple plays later, Robbins found Chris Libertini for a 3-yard TD pass as the Huskies finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard with just more than six minutes remaining in the game.
Battle Mountain hosts Eagle Valley at Phelan Field next week.
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